October 16, 2015 (Nashville, TN) – Portara Ensemble is pleased to announce that conductor Jason Shelton has been named Interim Artistic Director for the 2015-2016 season, replacing founder/director Shreyas Patel, who resigned his position after five seasons as Artistic Director.
Jason Shelton has served as Portara’s assistant director since its inception. A published and award-winning composer, Jason has worked with choirs all around the country and specializes in creative, collaborative programming. In addition to his work with Portara, Jason is the Associate Minister for Music at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville, where he has served since 1998.
Formerly a Franciscan brother, Jason received an MDiv from Vanderbilt Divinity School in 2003 and was ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 2004. He studied theory and composition with Fr. Columba Kelly, OSB (St. Meinrad College, IN), and Drs. Wesley Vos & Jeffrey Kowalkowski (DePaul University, Chicago), and conducting with Robin Fountain and Dr. David Childs (Vanderbilt) and Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe (USC).
“We are delighted to have Jason step into the role of Interim Artistic Director,” said Lea Maitlen, Executive Director of Portara Ensemble. “Jason has been intimately involved with the group since its inception, and we are confident in his ability to guide Portara as we begin this new phase in the life of our ensemble.”
Shelton said, “Working with a group like Portara is a dream come true for any conductor. The artistry and musical sensitivity of the singers is extraordinary, and the opportunities for collaboration in the Nashville arts community are truly unparalleled. I am so very excited to see (and hear!) what we can do together.”